Everything is connected to everything else – and there’s no better example of that than this week’s news that a song by Ariana Grande is putting money into the state pension program in Michigan. And speaking of Michigan, did you know the state is home to the American Museum of Magic, which boasts the largest publicly viewable collection of magical artifacts in the world?
If you’re wondering why your dinosaur of a podcast host is quoting Ariana Grande, it’s because of a story that reminds you that basically everything is connected to everything else. In this case, a hit song by one of pop’s biggest stars and a state retirement program.
Here’s how it plays out, as reported by the Detroit Free Press. It starts with “7 Rings,” the Ariana Grande hit that spent eight weeks at the top of the Billboard pop chart earlier this year. The song is built on another song, “My Favorite Things” from “The Sound of Music.” To use parts of that earlier song, Ariana Grande and her team agreed to a licensing deal in which 90 percent of the royalties for “7 Rings” goes to the authors of “My Favorite Things,” the late, great songwriting duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.
Now, neither Rodgers nor Hammerstein is still around, so their songwriting copyrights are managed by a music publishing company called Concord Music.
And in 2010, Concord Music got a new investor: the pension fund for the state of Michigan, which has now put more than a billion dollars of the funds it controls into music. It’s now Concord Music’s majority owner.
In other words, when songs controlled by the company earn royalties, like, say, a hit that’s gone to number one, the pension fund gets some of the profits.
And they’ve had plenty of profits. The Detroit Free Press report found that Michigan’s pension fund has now earned more than $700 million from its music investing.
A smart investment, which is why I’m putting all my money into the pop stars of the day, as soon as I figure out who they are.
Michigan has a lot more to offer than just investments in pop songs. There are lots of amazing places to visit, including the American Museum of Magic, in Marshall, Michigan, where they say they have the largest publicly viewable collection of magical artifacts from Houdini to Blackstone and beyond. And, of course, they have magic shows on site.